Posted On: November 30, 2010

USCIS Launches Spanish Language Engagement Series

On October 28, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) commenced their first quarterly public engagement in Spanish. The series are part of an effort to communicate with the many different people USCIS services and each event will focus on a specific topic related to immigration or citizenship. In addition, live question-and-answer sessions via USCIS officials will be available to anyone.

“How to Help Your Relative Become a Legal Resident” was the theme of the first engagement which was held on October 28 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm. The rest of the series is planned to be held on January 21, April 28, and July 28. If you would like to find out how to participate in the next engagement visit www.uscis.gov or call 1-800-375-5274(toll-free).

Posted On: November 30, 2010

State Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Illegally Accessing Passport Application Files

Brooke E. Reyna, a State Department employee, pleaded guilty on November 5 to giving false statements to officials in connection with an investigation that she was allegedly illegally accessing passport application files. Reyna was an employee at the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, NH where she had access to the State Department’s database which included the Passport Information Electronic Record System (PIERS) that contains passport photos all the way back to 1994. In addition to the photos, PIERS also contains personal information like the applicants name, birth place and date, address, phone numbers, spouse/family information as well as contact information. All of this information is protected under the Privacy Act of 1974 and access is limited to official use only. Between May 2004 and February 2008, Reyna admitted to logging on the PIERS database to look up the passport information for over 500 different celebrities, actors, musicians, models, athletes, and members of these individuals’ families for pure curiosity; she wasn’t carrying out any official business for the State Department. When originally questioned about her activities, Reyna denied the accusations but soon plead guilty to the charges and 9 other State Department employees/contractors have been found guilty as a result of the investigation.

Posted On: November 29, 2010

Immigrants Benefit as Economy Recovers

The recent improvement in the country’s economy has created an increase in blue collar jobs and the demand for immigrant workers. Casa de Maryland, which has five job centers around the state, was able to place19, 000 immigrants in jobs during June of 2010 compared to 16,000 job placements during the same time last year. According to research, with the upturn of the economy, immigrants are receiving jobs at a much higher rate and benefiting more than native US citizens. Unemployment rates lowered from 9.3% to 8.7% for immigrant workers whereas the rate for native born workers increased from 9.2% to 9.7%. In addition to unemployment, hiring rates are also higher for working immigrants than native born US citizens. Since the recovery, immigrants are also being employed into different types of jobs than they were before the recession. Many worked in construction during the recession but now immigrant workers are being hired for positions in hospital service and education. One reason why immigrant workers may be receiving more jobs than native born US citizens is their flexibility with wages and earnings. Though immigrant workers may be receiving benefits during the economic recovery, they still face many challenges; their unemployment rate is still twice what it was before the recession.

Posted On: November 29, 2010

REMINDER - Submit Your Questions

MVP "Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 3rd, 2010

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, AZ SB1070, priority dates, or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, December 3rd, 2010. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: November 26, 2010

USCIS Announces New Anti-Fraud Enhancements to E-Verify

The announcement on November 10 of E-Verify’s systems expansion was made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

New capabilities of the system include US passport photo matching as well as automatic checks of US passports for authenticity when presented for employment verification checks to help increase the reliability of the program. Napolitano is confident that the improved E-Verify system will, “enhance our ability to detect counterfeit documents and combat fraud.” The E-Verify system now allows employers to verify the identity of any new employee by comparing their passport or passport card to the State Department records on file.

The E-Verify system is run by DHS in connection with the Social Security Administration and is free to use for all participating employers. Currently, the system is being used by more than 230,000 employers.

Posted On: November 26, 2010

Immigrants Can Help Create MORE Jobs

According to Tyler Cowen, a writer for The New York Times and economics professor at George Mason University, immigration to the US is increasing business activity and therefore creating an increase in jobs. He cites “Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs” which explains that keeping companies onshore also helps keep low-wage jobs. The study goes on to find an inverse relation between immigration rates and offshoring, as offshoring increases the number of immigrants decrease and vice versa. Immigrant workers actually fill in labor market gaps and are “complementary” to the American business system; this contrasts with common bias that immigrants take away jobs from native US citizens and are detrimental. The study found that Americans and immigrants occupy different areas in the workforce and take different jobs, balancing each other in the labor force. Cowen goes on to explain that we naturally blame others or different groups for problems instead of realizing that machines and technology displace many human workers.

In conclusion, Cowen recommends the sanction of more immigrants coming into the US due to the potential increase in jobs and tax revenue, benefits to Social Security, as well improvement on the country’s overall business.

Posted On: November 26, 2010

Naturalization Rates among IRCA Immigrants: A 2009 Update

On October 27, the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics released a compiled Fact Sheet which compares the naturalization rates of IRCA(Immigration Reform and Control Act) legalized immigrants up until 2009 with the rates of other immigrants who arrived during the same period or obtained in a LPR(legal permanent resident) status.

The IRCA was passed back in 1986 and created pathways to citizenship for many different groups of immigrants. The two main groups that benefited were immigrants who had always resided in the US illegally before January 1, 1982 and special agricultural workers (SAWs) who were required to have worked in US agriculture during specific years ending on May 1 for at least 90 days (1984, 1985, and 1986). In order to gain LPR status, IRCA immigrants were required to meet certain requirements and standards.

All of the data for the Fact Sheet was gathered through the Department of Homeland Security’s records. No individual below the age 18 was included and children who may have received legal status because of their parents were also excluded. All rates were compared amongst immigrants during the same time period. Some of the findings and results of the Fact Sheet were that 2.7 million immigrants achieved LPR status under IRCA, naturalization rates were lowest among individuals who gained status through IRCA provisions and as time went on the percentage of immigrants who were naturalized gradually increased. Other conclusions from the Fact Sheet are that fact that Mexican-born SAWs had a lower rate of naturalization than other groups of immigrants and non-Mexican born immigrants were not subject to the same extra requirements others were.

Posted On: November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

MVP Law Group would like to wish all of our readers a warm & wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted On: November 24, 2010

Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, Change in Filing Procedures for Religious Workers

Effective October 13, the US District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a ruling that allowed special immigrant religious workers to file their Form I-485 alongside the organizations’ Form I-360. United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) will no longer accept Forms I-485, I-131, I-765 that are filed based on are with a pending I-360 petition as of November 8. Forms I-485, I-131, and I-765 filed on or after November 8 must be submitted with an approved I-360 petition or they will be rejected.

Posted On: November 24, 2010

ICE has a NEW website

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the launch of its newly designed website, ICE.gov, on October 26. Features of the new website include up to date news from ICE as well as an improved image gallery. Information about ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) and ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) are also accessible on the new website.

A new function allows users to bookmark articles, receive email alerts on a range of topics, follow ICE on twitter and watch ICE YouTube videos. In addition, the Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS) launched on July 23 allows the sites users to search for detained aliens in ICE custody. Already, ICE has over 12,500 subscribers.

Posted On: November 23, 2010

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 CAP COUNT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of November 19, 2010, 48,977 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of November 19, 2010, 17,836 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Posted On: November 23, 2010

Release of Revised Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker

The Form I-129 has been revised by the United States Immigration and Citizenship Service (USICIS) which allows employers to petition for temporary workers under a variety of nonimmigrant visa classifications. Publication of the revisions by USCIS will be available on November 23, 2010.

For 30 days after the publication of the new version or until December 21, 2010, USCIS will accept previous versions of the Form I-129.

Beginning December 22, 2010, USCIS will only be accepting the revised Form I-129 and will decline any request filed with previous versions of the form.

Posted On: November 23, 2010

Restaurant Owner Found Guilty of Harboring Illegal Aliens

After an investigation lead by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), George Anagnostou of Maryland, was sentenced on October 28 to four months in prison and another four months on house arrest with electronic monitoring. Anagnostou also faces two years of supervised release after serving his sentence. His charges consisted of harboring at least 24 illegal workers of the Timbuktu and By the Docks restaurants. As a part of his sentencing, Anagnostou was forced to give up his motorcycle, pay a sum of $378,386.21 from five different bank accounts, give up $99,890 from the restaurant and his house, as well as an additional pay $256,696.67 at his court hearing.

From 2000 to 2005, Anagnostou was in charge of hiring employees for both Timbuktu and By the Docks restaurants. Other than collecting two documents, Anagnostou never made any other efforts to verify the authority of an individual to work in the United States, like using the required Employment Eligibility Verification forms (I-9s). Even when informed that many of his applicants had presented him with falsified forms, he insisted that his employees stop asking questions and accept the documents. In addition, the Social Security Administration began notifying Anagnostou that the Social Security numbers he was supplying for his employees did not match up in the database but he still did nothing to validate the legitimacy of his workers.

Anagnostou benefited financially from the illegal workers employment at the restaurants because he deducted their rental payments from their overtime wages due, paid them in cash preventing him from being subject to tax liability and he didn’t claim the rental property on his income taxes.

Posted On: November 23, 2010

Arkansas Employer Guilty of Harboring Illegal Aliens

After pleading guilty to harboring and concealing illegal aliens on November 11, Arkansas resident Sen Chen was sentenced to five years probation, six months house arrest, a $5,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. As a part of his sentencing, Chen also forfeited his restaurant, house, and car. The investigation of Chen led by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents discovered he was providing illegal immigrants with transportation, food, housing and money in exchange for working at his restaurant.

According to ICE HSI special agent Raymond Parmer this case, “serves as a stern reminder about the consequences facing employers who exploit illegal alien labor.”

Posted On: November 22, 2010

Updated Service Center Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on November 18, 2010 with processing dates as of September 30, 2010.

If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

California Service Center
National Benefits Center
Nebraska Service Center
Texas Service Center
Vermont Service Center.

Please be aware that the data given above is approximately 45 days old at the time of posting. If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS. (1-800-375-5283)

If you are a client of MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

Posted On: November 19, 2010

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 19th, 2010

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – Employment Based Immigration, Green Card
My case was filed in Oct 2005 and it is current and still waiting. I tried opening Service Request and took InfoPass as well. I got InfoPass appt yesterday in local VA office. They were not able to tell me about my case only that it is still under review at the local Baltimore office where it was transferred to in August 2009. Please let me know what I need to do?

Answer #1
I would suggest making another InfoPass appointment at the local Baltimore, MD office to determine the status of your pending case as this is where your case is presently pending. Taking an InfoPass appointment may help you to determine if any additional documents are needed in order for the USCIS Officer to finish the processing of your case so that a decision can be made.


Question #2 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am not sure what is going on with my pending H-1B application, been pending since July 2010, no RFE issued yet. I heard that I can contact USCIS and make a service request for them to look further into the case and why it is taking so long. Is this true? How do I do it?

Answer #2
For a pending I-129 petition, the Petitioner/Authorized Representative or an Attorney for the Petitioner/Applicant should contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center, which can be reached at 1-800-375-5283, to initiate the service request for a petition that is outside of the normal processing time.

If making a service request to the Customer Service Center, please have the following information handy so that the Officer/Agent will be better able to assist you: your full name, the applicant’s full name, your complete company mailing address, the applicant’s complete mailing address, the applicant’s date of birth, the applicant’s receipt number for the pending application/petition, and the filing date of the applicant’s pending application/petition. If your case is outside of the normal processing time, the Officer/Agent should initiate a service request and will provide you with a timeframe for a response and a referral number in case you have to call back because no correspondence was issued within the timeframe suggested.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
For a part time H-1B worker, what is the minimum number of hours per week and days per week of work required to be eligible for maintaining the part-time H1B visa status?

Answer #3
40 hours + per week would be considered a full time employee, therefore, anything less than 40 hours per week would be considered part-time. The regulations do not provide a minimum number of hours per week or days per week to be considered a part time H-1B worker. The I-129 petition and certified LCA must cover the jurisdiction of employment, hours per week and pay per hour. If the position becomes full time, an amended H-1B petition would need to be filed with the USCIS.


Question #4 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Is the FY 2011 CAP still available or must I wait until April 1, 2011 to submit a new H-1B?

Answer #4
As of November 12, 2010, there were approximately 17,200 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and approximately 2,600 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. For continuous FY2011 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to www.mvp.com.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My spouse and children have received their Green Cards but I have not yet received mine. I filed for our GCs through my employer. Is there a problem with the processing of my case? Could my case have been denied? What do I need to do? Any guidance is appreciated.

Answer #5
Based on the small amount of information provided, it seems like there may just be an issue with the issuance/mailing of your Green Card. Your husband and children would not have received their Green Cards if there was a pending issue with your case. From the information you provided, you are the primary applicant and your spouse and children are your derivatives. Therefore, the USCIS would not approve the I-485 Application to Adjust status for the derivatives without first approving it for the primary applicant. Follow up with the USCIS after 45 days from the date your spouse and children received their Green Cards by calling 1-800-375-5283.


Question #6 – General – USCIS Filing Fees
When do the new USCIS filing fees go into effect?

Answer #6
The new fee schedule goes into effect Nov. 23, 2010. Applications or petitions postmarked
or otherwise filed on or after this date must include the new fee, or they will be rejected. The new fee schedule increases application and petition fees by an average of about 10 percent
but does not increase the naturalization application fee.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H1B visa got approved in 2009 which was filed by another company. I did not get a chance to travel to USA and even my visa is not stampted. Now I am with other employer. Can I transfer my H1B to this new employer?

Answer #7
The safest option to utilize at this point given the facts as you have provided is to file a new H-1B petition. Transfers and Extensions do not apply in this scenario because you have never entered the U.S as an H-1B nonimmigrant. Once the petition is filed and approval received, you would need to attend the Consulate interview and if all goes well, you would be able to then travel to the U.S. and after speaking with CBP, enter as an H-1B nonimmigrant visa holder.


Question #8 – General – Employment Based Immigration, Green Card
I have an approved I-140 petition and wish to file my I-485. I am currently on H-1B and my wife, H4. She wants to be able to work so we would like to file 485 and obtain EAD documents. My lawyer says I must wait for my priority date to become current. Please explain for me what “priority date becoming current” means? I filed in EB2 category from China.

Answer #8
In order for an individual to obtain an immigrant visa, a visa number must be available to you. This is referred to as the priority date being "current." The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin. This Bulletin is accessible at www.travel.state.gov. Currently, there is a backlog in the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) category, which is the category you were filed in. This means, that you must wait until a visa becomes available, until your priority date becomes current. When your priority date becomes current, you may file the I-485 application, but until then, you must wait.

Each month, the State Department issues the visa bulletin, usually in the middle of the month. When the bulletin is issued, it will provide information that will take effect on the first day of the following month. Depending on the availability of immigrant visas, the priority dates in each category and for each country can change each month. However, please note that the priority dates can also stay the same. They can move very slowly or progress by several months or years. They can move forward or backward. Therefore, there is no way to anticipate what the priority date will be in a future month or when a category will become current.
In addition to the above website, you can go to http://immigrationroad.com/green-card-tracker.php and track how many green card applicants are in front of you using your priority date and preference category.


Question #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am currently working for a company, but I got an offer from another individual to start a new business with him as an equal partner. I really want to pursue this but am concerned. Would it be better for me to change my status to self employed and apply for the H1B visa for self sponsership?

Answer #9
To put it simply, the H-1B nonimmigrant visa is an employment based temporary nonimmigrant work visa. This means that you must first have a sponsoring employer willing to sponsor you before you may petition for and obtain an H-1B nonimmigrant visa. The H-1B regulations do not allow for self sponsorship.


Question #10 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card - EAD Renewal
I filed for my EAD renewal back in May 2010 and it is still pending. My current EAD expires in two weeks. Can I expedite the EAD renewal process since my card is expiring soon, can I continue to work with the receipt notice? Can I obtain a temporary EAD to continue working?

Answer #10
If an EAD renewal has been pending for 75+ days, you may initiate an ‘outside the processing times’ Service Request with the USCIS. If you do not receive your EAD approval by the time your current EAD expires, you MUST WAIT and NOT WORK until your EAD is approved and the card is in your hand. You MAY NOT continue to work using the EAD receipt notice as the receipt is not evidence of an approval. There is no such thing as a temporary EAD.

**You may file an EAD renewal request up to 120 days in advance of the expiration of your current EAD and should be aware of the Service Center processing times well in advance of filing so that you can obtain an approval of the EAD to continue working.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 3rd, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

Posted On: November 18, 2010

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 CAP COUNT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of November 12, 2010, 47,800 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of November 12, 2010, 17,400 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Posted On: November 18, 2010

DOJ Reaches Settlement Agreement with Catholic Healthcare West

After alleged immigration related employment discrimination charges were investigated by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) against Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), a voluntary settlement was reached between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and CHW.

During the investigation , the OSC determined that there was “reasonable cause” to suggest that CHW required immigrant workers to provide additional documentation than required by law while they let U.S. citizens choose which documents they wanted to submit. Some of the agreements made under the settlement included CHW paying OSC $1,000, a civil penalty of $257,000 from CHW to the US Treasury, a required I-9 review of all CHW’s both naturalized and immigrant employees by August 1, CHW establishing review teams, and CHW being required to provide OSC with reports tracking the progress and status of its reviews. In addition to the requirements, CHW created specific timelines and instructions on how to carry out each agreement of the settlement. The settlement also required CHW to treat all of its employees fairly and to use non-discriminating hiring practices. The training practices of CHW were updated and revised under the settlement; the employment eligibility verification process and discrimination were especially emphasized.

Posted On: November 17, 2010

H-1B Employees SHOULD NOT face arrest while extension pending

An amicus brief was filed by the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council (LAC) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that argued an H-1B employee should not face arrest, deportation, or detention if he/she has a pending extension request. The reasoning behind the brief is that the employers who follow immigration law and proceedings should not have to lose employees because there are delays at the processing centers. LAC and AILA also argue that arresting individuals undermines the purpose of the H-1B program and includes support from three prominent companies who rely on the work of individuals with H-1B visas in the amicus brief.

The LAC sent the brief on behalf of a Lebanese national whose employer requested an H-1B extension a month before the deadline and paid the $1,000 premium processing fee. The decision was suppose to be received within 15 business days but the government neither sent back an approval or denial of the extension. Seven months after the extension had been requested, there had still been no response and the Lebanese national was arrested for overstaying.

H-1B’s are only granted in three year intervals by the government even though an individual can stay on an H-1B visa for up to six years or longer depending upon the circumstances. An individual is also only allowed to work 240 days after his/her visa expires as long as he/she has filed an extension, after that time period they are subject to arrest.

Posted On: November 17, 2010

BALCA Affirms Denial of Labor Certification - NOF did not meet regulation requirements

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification for an alien worker for the position of “Chef."

The applicants’ Employer Application for Permanent Employment Certification was originally accepted by the CO on December 1, 2006 but the application was then denied on December 14 due to the fact that alien did not meet the minimum education, training and experience requirements. The CO issued an audit notification and request for Notice of Filing (NOF) on January 15, 2009 after the Employer asked for a review of the case. On February 11, 2009 the alien’s employer provided all of the information that was questioned in the initial denial as well as the NOF which stated the position was posted from September 1 to September 13. The CO again denied the application on March 16 citing that neither the Employer’s name nor sufficient contact information was provided in the posting. Even though the Employer asked for reconsideration and provided evidence that the posting was sufficient, the CO stuck by the denial. The CO’s main reason for denial was that even though the NOF contained the name and title of the Employer, the information was only added after the initial posting. In the appellate brief filed, the CO reiterated the fact that the information was added to the document after it had already been posted. The CO also mentioned the ambiguity in regards to how many companies resided at that location.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.10(d) controls and provides that the Employer give notice of filing of the Employer Application for Permanent Employment Certification and that the posting must contain the required information. It is the employer’s responsibility to submit thorough documentation, interpret requests broadly and to be confident that the documentation submitted will support the application. In this case, the Employer’s application did not contain the business name on the NOF and the NOF did not the fully meet all requirements.
Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

Posted On: November 16, 2010

REMINDER - USCIS FILING FEES INCREASE NOVEMBER 23, 2010

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a reminder that its new application and petition fees go into effect November 23, 2010.

The new fees increase application and petition fees by approximately 10 percent but naturalization fees will remain the same.

To review the increased USCIS filing fees, please click here.

Posted On: November 16, 2010

The DOL has Updated its Enforcement Data Website

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released version 1.2 of its Enforcement Data Site. Features of the updated site include an interactive map and dashboard, integrated data system with collaboration from other agencies, more advanced search criteria, and datasets being available to the public in a readable format. Users can also stay connected and receive immediate updates through the website with the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

Posted On: November 16, 2010

Dominican Man Sentenced for Falsely Applying for a U.S. Passport

After pleading guilty to a charge of counterfeiting a passport application, Ramon Francisco of the Dominican Republic who resided in Connecticut was sentenced to 14 months in prison October 28. During the investigation by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), it was discovered that Francisco used another individual’s identity to apply for his passport. Francisco has been going through removal procedures carried out by ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) since his arrest in August of 2009.

Posted On: November 15, 2010

December 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the December 2010 Visa Bulletin.

The December 2010 Visa Bulletin still shows employment based third preference (EB-3) visas as oversubscribed while the employment based second preference (EB-2) is current for all areas of chargeability except for China and India.

**The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.

Have you already applied in EB3, thinking about filing in EB2...are you eligible to file in another category?...contact MVP Law Group online.

Did you file in EB3 or EB2 and still waiting...and married to a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?...you may be eligible to file a Family Based Immigrant Petition for faster processing.

Questions, contact MVP Law Group or toll free at 1-800-447-0796.

Posted On: November 15, 2010

REMINDER - Submit your questions

MVP "Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 19th, 2010

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, AZ SB1070, priority dates, or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, November 19th, 2010. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: November 15, 2010

New ICE Deportation Policy

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released information on their new relaxed deportation policy. This new policy mainly affects immigrants who are married or related to US citizens and legal residents. Before this policy was instated, if an immigrant was going through deportation proceedings they would automatically be deported even if they had pending petitions. Now with this new rule, the proceedings are stopped if the person is qualified for a green card. There is one stipulation that ICE created to the policy, in order to benefit the immigrant can not be a convicted criminal. This helps ensure and carry out ICE’s number one focus of “removal of criminal aliens and those who pose a danger to national security.”

Posted On: November 12, 2010

State Department: Passport Policy on Gender Change

To celebrate Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride in the month of June, the US Department of State announced its policy regarding gender change on passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. Beginning on June 10, 2010 an applicant may change the gender on their passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad if certification is presented from a medical physician stating the applicant has undergone treatment for gender transition. A limited-validity passport can also be obtained with a physician’s statement that the applicant is currently going through the process of gender transition. Note: sexual reassignment surgery is no longer the qualification for gender change on a passport.

Posted On: November 11, 2010

Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of November 1, 2010.

If you filed an appeal, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The current processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is 15 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 24 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 27 months.

Most other cases are within USCIS's processing time goal of 6 months or less.

Posted On: November 11, 2010

The Executive Office for Immigration Review Launched Newly Redesigned Website

On October 20, The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) launched its new website www.justice.gov/eoir, which was created due to efforts to give the site a fresher look with more organization and easy to use applications.

All types of individuals like respondents, representatives, non-governmental organizations, the press, and public use the website to receive timely updates about the agency. Highlights of the new site include an Action Center, the ability to submit a complaint about an immigration judge and review statistics about previous criticism, as well as links to immigration documents/forms/handbooks. In addition, the site links back to the Department of Justice’s website which is very similar in design to the EOIR’s resigned website.

Posted On: November 10, 2010

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 CAP COUNT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of November 5, 2010, 46,800 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of November 5, 2010, 17,200 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Posted On: November 10, 2010

Immigration Reform: Binational Same Sex Couples Fear They'll Be Left Out

Even though the District of Columbia legalized same sex marriage earlier this year, the federal government doesn’t recognize the marriages and therefore same sex couples do not receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples. Erwin de Leon and Rev. John Beddingfield are just one of the many couples in the District who experience limitations. Leon is an immigrant from the Philippines on a student visa that expires next year and because he and Beddingfield do not receive the same immigration benefits as heterosexual couples, he can not apply to become a U.S. citizen. According to a census taken by the UCLA’s Williams Institute, there are an “estimated 25,000 same sex couples in the US that [have] one partner [that] is foreign born.” The introduction of Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Menendez (D-RI) Comprehensive Reform Act of 2010 may be the immigration reform needed because it encompasses the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) which would grant citizenship to same-sex couples.

Posted On: November 9, 2010

BALCA Vacates Denial of Labor Certification - NOF posted on Saturday & Sunday

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently vacated and remanded the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of “Chefs and Head Cooks.”

The CO originally denied certification on May 5, 2008 because the sponsorship of the immigrant worker could not be verified by the Employer. On June 2, 2008, reconsideration was requested by the Employer due to the fact that the immigrant worker’s contact individual had recently stopped working for the restaurant. An Audit Notification was filed by the CO on December 23, 2009 requesting the Employer to provide its Notice of Filing and recruitment documents as well as present evidence to justify the foreign language requirement. Certification was denied by the CO on February 9, 2010 on the grounds that the Notice of Filing was “posted for fewer than 10 consecutive business days.” The Employer submitted another request for reconsideration, citing that the restaurant is in fact open seven days a week, making the dates supplied (May 14, 2007 to May 24, 2007) sufficient enough for a Notice of Filing posting requirement. Even though the Employer gave evidence that Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days at the restaurant and that there is a need for employees on those days, the CO still denied labor certification stating business days are only defined by Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays and weekends.

PERM regulations 20 C.F.R. § 656.10(d) controls and its provides the posting of a Notice of Filing by an Employer must be posted “for at least 10 consecutive business days” but does not specify what determines a business day. The CO denied certification based on the fact the Notice of Filing was not posted for at least 10 business days but the Employer provided evidence that the restaurant operated on Saturdays and Sundays, therefore requesting weekends be considered business days. BALCA disagreed with the CO saying business days are not confined to Monday through Friday. The Employers requirement was fulfilled because the Notice of Filing was posted for 10 consecutive days when “employees [were] on the worksite.” BALCA is giving the Employer another opportunity to demonstrate its Notice of Filing requirement due to the fact that the restaurant is open on the weekends.

Accordingly, the BOARD vacated the decision of the CO in denying labor certification and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

Posted On: November 8, 2010

ACLU Lawsuit - Mistreatment of Foreign Workers by California Company

A Fullerton Company in California previously discovered for hiring illegal workers is now being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for treating mistreating those employees. The workers suffered many injuries due to the manufacturing equipment and they claimed the company denied them their overtime/vacation/sick pay, as well as humiliated them. The workers at Fullerton were too afraid to report any of the abuse at the company for fear of being deported and losing their jobs which they needed to pay off medical bills.

Currently the Department of Labor is investigating this case and an agreement has yet to be reached.

Posted On: November 5, 2010

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 5th, 2010

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Is the H-1B quota still open?

Answer #1
As of October 29, there were approximately 19,400 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and approximately 3,300 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. For continuous FY2011 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to www.mvplg.com.


Question #2 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Do non-profits come under the same category as far as H1B is concerned?

Answer #2
If you are the beneficiary of an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for a company that is a not-for-profit, and they have sufficient proof of their non-profit status, then any new H-1B nonimmigrant petition filed by that company is not subject to the annual H-1B nonimmigrant visa CAP. An H-1B petition for new employment can be filed at any time.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
One yr ago I employed someone on HIB 3yr visa. I found out he has applied for job in Australia. What recourse do I have?

Answer #3
Generally, employers are rather limited in what they can do to H-1B employees who transfer employment, unless your employment agreement/contract provided for liquidated damages or other alternatives in case the employee would decide to terminate the employment prior to the end of the validity period of the visa. If you are terminating the H-1B employee, you are responsible for paying for the nonimmigrant’s travel back to his/her home country.


Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I just received my Green Card, what do I do now?

Answer #4
USCIS maintains a useful web page on the topic “Now That You Are A Permanent Resident.” It can be found at http://uscis.gov this is the USCIS home page, click on After a Green Card is Granted under the Green Card (Permanent Residence) heading. Then look to the right side and under More Information you will find valuable information on, among other topics, how not to lose your status as a permanent resident. Additionally, if you look to the left side under After a Green Card is Granted you will find numerous resources on different topics relating to your status as a Permanent Resident.


Question #5 – Diversity Lottery (DV)
Can I apply for DV now?

Answer #5
No, applications for the DV 2012 random lottery were accepted from Tuesday, October 5, 2010 through Wednesday, November 3, 2010.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Hello, I have a question about a H1B visa application. My situation is as follows: A H1B application was submitted by employer-with assurances that it would go through, however the legal representation was being provided pro-bono and as a result (in my opinion) not enough attention was paid to it…thus, this week the petition was denied: in retrospect, the application was weak. What should I do next? Should I appeal? I believe the process may be lengthy and perhaps unfavorably viewed on the back of a weak initial submission. Is it legitimate to start over and submit a new petition with clearer job description and more accurate information? Many thanks in advance.

Answer #6
You will need to have your employer contact our experienced Immigration Attorneys to discuss the details of the denial and determine your options moving forward, whether it would be better to just re-file or file an appeal. I cannot provide you with advice moving forward without fully reviewing your case and the evidence that was initially submitted.


Question #7 – Marriage Based Immigration – Conditional Permanent Resident
I would like to know the procedure for “removing conditions.” When can I file? I’m married to a U.S. Citizen and my conditional green card is set to expire in May of 2011.

Answer #7
You can file to remove the conditions 90 days prior to the expiration of your second anniversary as a conditional resident. It is very important that you file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) within the 90 day window of time. If you file too early, the USCIS will send your application back. You may file at any time during the 90 day window, but it is suggested that you file fairly early in the window. If you fail to properly file Form I-751 within the 90 day period, your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against you and a hearing will be conducted where you will be given the opportunity to rebut the government’s allegations against you.

The items involved in filing the application to “remove conditions” include: (1) a completed Form I-751; (2) USCIS filing fee of $545.00; (3) certified copy of front and back of permanent resident card; (4) evidence of a bona fide relationship; and a (5) detailed cover sheet indicating the contents of the package.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have a valid H1B through Aug2011. But I would like to move to L2 visa. Is it possible to cancel my h1B visa? If so then how long will it take and what is the process?

Answer #8
Notify your employer that you wish to cancel your H-1B visa. They will write a letter to the USCIS requesting that the USCIS withdraw your H-1B visa. You will have to apply for the L2 status with the USCIS and wait for the approval or obtain the L2 visa at a consulate with proof of your eligibility. *You will want to apply for the L2 visa status prior to your employer writing the letter to cancel your H-1B visa so that you can maintain an authorized valid presence in the United States.


Question #9 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B & L1A/L1B Nonimmigrant Visas
I am the President of a small business in Texas. I have read different articles about the new public law and its applicability to nonimmigrant visas, but I am somewhat confused based on what I have read. Does the new public law fee apply to me and my company?

Answer #9
Under Public law 111-230, Employers with 50 or more employees in the U.S., for which more than 50% of their workforce utilize H and L visas are subject to the new fee. Employers to which the Public law applies will have to pay an additional fee of $2,000.00 for each H-1B filed, in addition to normal USCIS filing fees associated with the H-1B visa. Additionally, Employers are required to pay an additional fee of $2,250.00 for each L1 petition filed in addition to the USCIS filing fees already required. If your company employs less than 50 employees, you are not subject to the new fee. If you are a larger company and have 50 or more employees and have less than 50% of those employees on H1B/L1 visas, then you are not subject to the new fee.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B & L1A/L1B Nonimmigrant Visas
Does the new public law apply to transfer and extension petitions?

Answer #10
Under Public law 111-230, petitioners subject to the new fees must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed (1) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status; or (2) to obtain authorization for an alien having such status to change employers. Therefore, the fee must be submitted with any initial H-1B filings and any transfers, but extensions with the same employer do not require the new fee.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment. We hope the information provided is helpful.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 19th, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

Posted On: November 4, 2010

USCIS Redesigns Naturalization Certificate to Enhance Security

The launch of the redesigned Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550) was announced October 25 by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The new certificate was redesigned in order to increase security and reduce the amount of fraud. Due to the revamping of the naturalization certificates, USCIS estimates over 600,000 individuals will receive the enhanced certificate over the next year. Features of the redesigned certificates include a digitized photo and an embedded signature on the document, as well as a color-shifting background that is difficult to copy. In addition, USCIS has implemented a new, more secure printing process that makes the document more resistant to fraud. The Director of USCIS, Alejandro Mayorkas, also announced that by the end of the year USCIS would fully transition to an automated production process for the new certificates. The automated process would allow for increased consistency in the creation of naturalization certificates and it would cut down on preparation time. Any previously issued Certificates of Naturalization will remain legitimate even with the implementation of the redesigned certificates.

USCIS Issued a Fact Sheet and a Q&A regarding the redesign of the Naturalization Certificate, please click here to access.

Posted On: November 3, 2010

USCIS Issues Two Precedent Appeals Decisions

An announcement on October 20 from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revealed that two decisions by the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) are now binding precedent, also known as law. The decisions made by the AAO are a joint collaboration between the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). DHS and the Attorney General must agree that a particular immigration appeals case is grounds for establishing a universal rule that would apply to all future cases before it becomes an AAO precedent decision. The two binding precedents created state an applicant’s petition must first be considered “valid” before the validity can be considered if the applicant moves to a new job and spells out the definition of an “American firm or corporation.”

In first case, Matter of AL WAZZAN, the applicant asked for adjustment of status to permanent residence even though the applicant never provided documentation supporting his eligibility for a permanent residence visa. After two of the applicant’s original Form I-140 visa petitions were denied, the applicant claimed he had an offer for other employment and wished to readjust his status. The applicant argued that he should be allowed status adjustment due to the fact his application has been pending for more than 180 days from the time it was ruled upon. The underlying problem found in the applicant’s case that the AAO decided to create a binding precedent for is Section 245(a) of the Act which “requires the adjustment applicant to have an ‘approved’ petition.”After reviewing the case, AAO found that the applicant’s assertions were not convincing enough to allow for his adjustment of status. Even though AC21 states that a petition shall remain valid even if unadjudicated for 180 days if the applicant changes to a new job or employer in the same or similar field, the applicant in this case did not have a “valid” petition to begin with for the legislation to be effective.

In the second case, Matter of CHAWATHE, the Acting District Director denied the applicant’s application to preserve residence for naturalization purposes. The overlying question in this case was whether a publicly traded corporation could be considered an “American firm or corporation.” After reviewing the case, AAO found that the previous statement may be deemed true under Section 316(b) of the Act, only if the applicant proves that the corporation is incorporated in the US and that the corporation’s stock is strictly within US markets. An applicant who has filed a Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes does not need to be physically in the country for the required two and half years of residency as long as the employer is an “American firm or corporation.” The director determined that in this case, the applicant failed to prove ChevronTexaco Corporation, his employer, was an “American firm or corporation.” The applicant argued that the employer was incorporated in the state of Delaware and that the company he worked for overseas is considered a subsidiary of ChevronTexaco. Although the company was incorporated in Delaware, AAO asserts that an applicant must also establish 50% of the company is owned by US citizens, which the applicant in this case did not. However, incorporation doesn’t necessarily determine if a company is an “American firm or corporation.” Under the evidence submitted, AAO found that ChevronTexaco is in fact an incorporation of the US and Saudi Arabia Texaco, and that the company the applicant went to go work for is a legitimate subsidiary of the company. In conclusion, AAO found ChevronTexaco Corporation in fact meets the definition of an “American corporation” and the applicants appeal was sustained.

Posted On: November 3, 2010

UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 CAP COUNT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of October 29, 2010, 45,600 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of October 29, 2010, 16,700 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Posted On: November 2, 2010

ICE HSI Investigation of Two California Businesses - Allegations of Hiring Illegal Workers

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested the owner and top executive of Masters in Metal, Inc based in California for illegally hiring undocumented aliens. The investigation into the company’s hiring practices began in 2007 when Masters in Metal’s audit revealed 16 employees had used counterfeit green cards to acquire their jobs. Investigation also uncovered illegal workers who remained on the company’s payroll even after they had been told to go get authentic Social Security numbers. The charges carry up to six months in prison for the defendants. A similar situation to the one at Masters in Metal, Inc was investigated less than two week ago at Park Personnel, Inc in Bell, California. An employee was arrested by ICE and HSI agents from Park Personnel for allegedly hiring illegal workers and providing them with forged documents to make their employment seem legal.

By prosecuting those who knowingly hire illegal workers and falsify documents, ICE and HSI are “trying to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect the job opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce.” Enforcement is also being implemented through the use of auditing, debarment, and final fine notices.

Posted On: November 2, 2010

USCIS - Evidence of Improper Influence over Visa Policy??

After statements made by immigration officers were released, that claimed there is an increasing amount of pressure on employees of US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to approve more visas even when there is suspicion of fraud, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA ) asked the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Inspector General on October 15 to investigate. Agency insiders have continued to come forward and provide evidence that suggests USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas is responsible for the encouragement to approve as many visas as possible in the California Service Center. Senator Grassley first began looking into USCIS’s practices when accusations arose that supervisors told employees “to find a way” to approve applications. Grassley says his main concern and reason behind brining this issue to attention is to ensure that, “the rule of law isn’t being undermined by political leaders.”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) writer David Leopold posted an article on AILA’s blog October 18th in response to Senator Grassley’s proposal for investigation into UCIS’s practices. Leopold argues against the legitimacy of Grassley’s information, citing the fact that the allegations have only been brought by a small group of insiders. Leopold offers a solution to Grassley’s upset, suggesting he submit his own petition to USCIS in order to get a better picture of USCIS’s visa approval procedures. According to Leopold, what Grassley fails to understand about USCIS’s policy of “finding a way” is that the USCIS officers must find the applicant eligible by a “preponderance of evidence.” The applicants must be able to prove the warranting of a visa. He goes on further to say USCIS is in reality far stricter on applicants than Grassley is aware of, he mentions the denial of many visa applicants as a result of flawed assessment by USCIS officers.

Posted On: November 1, 2010

REMINDER - Submit your questions

MVP "Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 5th, 2010

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, AZ SB1070, priority dates, or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, November 5th, 2010. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: November 1, 2010

1st Mississippi business becomes IMAGE Partner with ICE

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed an agreement with its first Mississippi Business partner in the IMAGE program, Roy Anderson Corporation , on October 20. The IMAGE program, also known as the ICE Mutual agreement between Government and Employers, helps employer’s better follow the language and regulations of the law by providing them with the necessary information and tools.

In order to qualify for the IMAGE program, an employer is required to conduct an investigation of its hiring practices to discover potential vulnerabilities that could be utilized to commit fraud, complete eligibility verification programs, train its staff on how to use the new tools, and be audited by ICE. One of the main reasons ICE created the IMAGE program was to combat the hiring of illegal and undocumented workers. Undocumented workers create weakness in both the company and government by using fraudulent documents to gain employment and commit identity theft against US workers. Through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify employment eligibility verification program, which is a component of the IMAGE program, employers can pre-screen potential employees before they hire them. For more information on the IMAGE program click here.